Setup SFTP

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Warning: This page is deprecated (see Introduction). It is strongly recommended that unless you are an advanced Linux user, you use the automated setup meta-package instead of doing this manually. We suggest that you go here instead. Install "OpenSSH SFTP Server" from Preware and go to Application:OpenSSH for further instructions. Note also that if you are a windows user, winSCP is faster and just as secure using the SCP protocol without doing all this. We suggest just using winSCP without bothering to set it up for SFTP which is slower and no more secure.

Once you have accessed Linux on your Pre, it would be nice to be able to get and put files off the Pre without having to switch to usb drive mode, and copy the files over,and switch back to user mode, and move the files out of the media/internal folder and so forth.

One good way to do this is via SFTP. If you are not sure what that is, please visit this wiki page.

This document assumes you know why you want sftp, and how to use it once it's on the Pre.

Step 1: Login to your Pre's Linux shell. You must also have Optware packages configured, as outlined here:

Step 2: Set Read/Write Access:

sudo -i
mount -o remount,rw /

Step 3: Install the needed components from ipkg-opt:

cd /opt/bin
ipkg-opt update
ipkg-opt install openssh-sftp-server

Step 4: Modify the sudoers file to allow your user account to sudo sftp-server without a password:


Once in the file, add the following line after the existing ALL line for your user - where //myusername// should be replaced with the user account that you are using to access your Pre via SSH. The order of the lines count here :


myusername ALL=(ALL) ALL
myusername ALL=NOPASSWD: /opt/libexec/sftp-server

Quit and save your changes (ESC :wq)

Step 5: Mount the Pre's file system as read-only:

mount -o remount,ro /

Step 6: Reboot via one of the methods below:

Method 1:


Method 2:

sudo su -l

Method 3: Turn off the Pre by holding the power button until the 'Turn Off' button appears and then pressing it. Turn the Pre back on after it has turned off by holding the power button until you see the Palm logo.

Other Methods: You may be able to reboot the phone with other commands. You can hit Orange+Sym+R on your Pre's keyboard to perform a soft reset, as well.

To login to the Pre using WinSCP:

Hostname: [my pre's ip]
port: [my pre's port] (222 if you followed the Optware enabling instructions verbatim)
username and password you set

Check 'Advanced Options' and select "Environment>SFTP".
In the SFTP server box enter: sudo /opt/libexec/sftp-server

Be sure to set "mount -o remount,rw /" to write and "mount -o remount,ro /" when done. (If on Windows, do this through PuTTY. I haven't found a way to do it through WinSCP, but you can go to "Commands>Open in PuTTY" from the main toolbar.)

Courtesy of jhoff80 and blakeb at